Justin Bieber bodyguard Hugo Hesny has reportedly denied touching photographers while working for the singer, when he was questioned in a Miami deposition Friday by the lawyer of a paparazzo who is suing him in a civil lawsuit.
Both Bieber, 20, and Hesny, 32, are being sued by Miami paparazzo Jeffrey Binion, 56, in a civil assault and negligence case which was filed last June.
Binion claims Bieber ordered Hesny and other guards to assault him after he was snapped photos of the then 19-year-old singer outside Miami’s The Hit Factory recording studio on June 5, 2013, when Justin visited the famous complex to record music.
The paparazzo alleges Hesny held him in a choke-hold and displayed a firearm, as other bodyguards allegedly took his camera and memory card to delete photos.
Gossip Extra reports Hesny was questioned in a nearly three hour deposition at his lawyer Elias Hillel’s Fort Lauderdale office by Binion’s attorney Mark DiCowden, who ran circles around Bieber in a now infamous March 6 deposition.
Citing a source close to the case, the website claims Hesny swore under oath that he has never touched any photographer working as a bodyguard for Bieber. The site also claims Hesny “pleaded the fifth half a dozen times.”
If true, it means Hesny invoked the Fifth Amendment.
This is a right that protects defendants in criminal and civil cases under the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights from self-incrimination.
According to Gossip Extra, in addition to swearing he has never touched a photographer while working for Bieber, Hesny said he has never chased or attacked shutterbugs on the singer’s orders.
Reportedly, Hesny did admit to asking photographers to delete snaps, but denied doing so on Bieber’s authorization and stated he “took it upon myself.”
Regarding Binion’s case, Hesny reportedly told DiCowden he only crossed a street to talk to the paparazzo — who was then hiding behind a balcony — to ask him to delete photos of Bieber.
When asked by DiCowden for his reasons for asking this, Hesny reportedly replied:
“I thought it was sneaky.”
Binion maintains he was assaulted by Hesny on direct orders of Bieber and wants millions in damages.
“Jeffrey Binion failed to make a reasonable showing by evidence in the record or… that a reasonable basis for recovery of punitive damages exists in this case.”
Adds, “Without making such a reasonable showing, Jeffrey Binion is not permitted to seek punitive damages against defendants Justin Bieber and Hugo Hesny in this proceeding.”
Others set to be deposed in the Binion lawsuit include Bieber – who has been ordered to attend a second deposition to answer questions he avoided in the first — the singer’s on-off girlfriend Selena Gomez, and Justin’s manager Scooter Braun.
In addition to being sued by Binion, Hesny is fighting a misdemeanor battery charge for the same alleged incident, and lost a motion to be excused from the civil case earlier this year.
Hesny was previously indicted on two felony charges of robbery and entering a vehicle in an Atlanta, Georgia, incident in which a photog’s camera was stolen, the Associated Press reported in February.
The Inquisitr notes local police previously confirmed Bieber was not involved in the Atlanta incident.
Other security used by Bieber have been named in other civil lawsuits filed by paparazzi.
In November, Hesny was captured on film kicking the car doors of a paparazzo tailing a convoy of vehicles thought to be carrying Bieber and his crew in Sydney, Australia, during the last leg of the singer’s Believe tour.
The incident was filmed as it happened by the paparazzo, news site Nine MSN reported at the time.
Hesny is also seen in video shot by FarandulaShow.com, that appeared to reveal him and other bodyguards beating up Diego Pesoa — a photographer — in Buenos Aires during a November 9 incident.
The clip shows Pesoa being chased across a street, knocked to ground and kicked.
On that date, Mexico’s daily El Universal reported the Ink nightclub house photog Pesoa, snapped Bieber as he left the club and got into a waiting van. At the time, Agence France-Press reported Pesoa’s lawyer – Matias Morla – alleged Bieber “gave the order to beat him and then got back in his van.”
Notably, Bieber is not seen or heard giving any such order in the video footage.
More recently, Hesny was seen on a TMZ-obtained video physically blocking a paparazzo with his forearm on July 3, before Bieber stepped out of his SUV to board a luxury yacht in Miami Beach, Florida.
In the clip, Bieber attempted to calm a tense situation created by the lone paparazzo, who ignored the singer’s previous verbal request to other paparazzi present to “back up” by 10 feet.
Gossip Extra claims DiCowden “may be seeking sanctions against Hesny for [allegedly] lying” in his deposition testimony.